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Developing countries look to South Korea as a role model in sustainable forestry management and rehabilitation

Arirang News
Arirang News
The natural beauty of South Korea's forest-coated mountains are the result of decades of careful management and reforestation programs.
Experts from developing nations are in Korea to learn how the country looks after its forest resources.
Kim Da-mi reports.
South Korea is one of only four countries with a successful history of forest rehabilitation following World War II.
In order to learn from Korea's successful reforestation, foreign experts and researchers have gathered in Seoul for workshops and field trips.
Korea's reforestation efforts date back to 1950s, when the government introduced the National Forest Plans and fast-growing trees were planted to prevent floods and erosion.
In the early 1960s, about 56% of the country was covered by forest, today 64% is covered -- an increase of 840,000 hectares.
Nowadays, the focus has shifted from tree-planting to sustainability.
Korea's current Sustainable Forest Management policy focuses on balance between forest utilization and preservation, and aims at increasing the amount of natural recreational parks and forests.

Not only are forests and recreational parks places for citizens to relax and enjoy nature, but they also create green job opportunities such as forest guides, tree surgeons, and researchers specializing in tree care.

"The kind of experience Korea has in terms of forestry and overall development, just to give you a simple example, the first time I'm seeing a forest hospital. I haven't even heard about it. All the advancements that happened scientifically and technically has a lot to offer to developing countries...",

"The kind of challenges you had in the 70s and 80s we have some of those now... It's useful thing to come here, coming to somebody who's been there before. I'm particularly interested in how your fire management techniques can be applied back at home, especially wild fire management."

Korea's extensive experience in reforestation and sustainable forest management will now help developing countries restore, protect and utilize their own forests.
KIM Da-mi, Arirang News.
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